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Language-universal constraints on the segmentation of English.
NORRIS, D., Cutler, A., Mcqueen, J.M., BUTTERFIELD, S. & Kearns, R.K.
Proceedings of SWAP: Workshop on Spoken Word Access Processes
Year of publication:
Two word-spotting experiments are reported that examine whether the Possible-Word Constraint (PWC)  is a language-specific or language-universal strategy for the segmentation of continuous speech. The PWC disfavours parses which leave an impossible residue between the end of a candidate word and a known boundary. The experiments examined cases where the residue was either a CV syllable with a lax vowel, or a CVC syllable with a schwa. Although neither syllable context is a possible word in English, word-spotting in both contexts was easier than with a context consisting of a single consonant. The PWC appears to be language-universal rather than language-specific.